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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Duprey

Why Should You Hire a Birth Photographer?

Updated: May 12, 2023

mother sheds a tear as she smiles and hold newborn baby

What if you had a photograph of the moment you fell in love with your partner?

Was it love at first sight? I remember the first time I noticed my husband. It was senior year of high school and I was walking the halls before the morning bell. He was leaning casually against the cinder block wall outside of his homeroom reading a thick tome of Victor Hugo’s ‘Les Miserables’. At that moment, my heart took the first of many pictures of that beautiful boy who would later become my life partner and father my children. What if that moment were caught on actual film? What if I had been brave enough to reach for my backpack disposable? I would treasure that snapshot forever and definitely share it with my children and grandchildren saying, in this moment my heart skipped a beat and I knew he was the one!

When you hire a birth photographer, you have the opportunity to capture the moment you meet your child for the first time-- the moment you meet that other love of your life! You will also be able to share that moment with them when they are older so that they can appreciate the significance of the strength and love with which they were brought into this world.

The day you become a parent is one of the most important days of your life!

Most people these days wouldn’t think about getting married without a photographer to document the day. And you certainly wouldn’t be asking your mother, maid of honor, or the officiant to take photos for you! As a child, you may have dreamt about what your wedding day would look like. And when we reflect back on that day-- with all the nerves, the many well wishers, and timeline of events-- a lot of it may be a blur-- but your wedding photos are there to remind you of the details of the day and, most of all, the love you feel for your partner.

Your wedding day and the birth of your child have a lot in common. They are both significant life events and many people will say their wedding day and the birth of their child are the best day of their lives! Your body has created this baby, then grew, nourished, and protected them inside you for 9 months. During these months (and the time it took trying to conceive) you dreamt about the day you would get to hold your baby for the first time. You might have imagined what they would look like (would your baby be born with a head full of hair?). And you might have wondered who would be there (which midwife or OB on rotation would be the one to catch?) and how it would feel (so. much. joy!). There is much anticipation about this tiny human growing inside you-- when your baby finally arrives you are going to want more than cell phone photos to remember their birth by.

A Birth Story is a visual story.

As a professional birth photographer, I am a storyteller. I have trained my artist’s eye to capture the entire scope of your birth story-- from the overlooked details and quiet (and roaring) moments of labor, to the power and raw emotion of birth, to the cuddles and wonderment of the immediate postpartum. When you look back on this full story of your child’s birth you will be able to remember the day you welcomed your child into your family and you will be able to share with your child the story of their birth day for years to come.

Birth Photography can help you process the events of your child's birth.

Birth can be unpredictable, sometimes traumatic, and some times things happen too fast to process. Images that document the events of your birth story can help when there are gaps in your memory of what happened, an altered perception of what happened, or the need to revisit what happened from an objective perspective.

“I wish I had done that!”

Often when I talk to people about birth photography, I hear, “Oh, I wish I had photos taken when my children were born!” The truth is that you don’t get those moments back. Whatever your hesitation might be-- concern about your appearance or the state of your home (if you are having a home birth), budgeting for the expense, or the desire to keep your birth experience a private and intimate affair-- if you decide to forgo birth photography, it may be a decision that you come to regret.

Why hire a Professional Birth Photographer?

As a professional birth photographer, I know how to objectively capture your story without interfering with it. The fact is that family and friends are emotionally invested in you. This means that they can, and will often, forget to continue shooting through difficult contractions or while they are admiring your beautiful new baby-- potentially missing the most poignant moments of your story. Your partner could be a great photographer, but they should be present so they are take in all the feelings of a given experience, and be free to support you and participate in their child's birth.

partners clasp hand resting between contractions during the second stage of labor.

I also caution (from personal experience) that well-meaning family and friends might capture images that are too graphic and too triggering to look at. While I am grateful that my mother took photos of my firstborn’s birth (you can read Lenore’s birth story HERE), these pictures are hidden behind other (less grisly) photos in my daughter’s baby album. I have a difficult time looking at them and I don’t think I will be sharing these photos with my daughter. They are just too visceral and I don’t want to scare her! My stomach still does a flip when I think about how my mom had them printed at Walgreen’s!

This leads me to another point: I am a professional. I bring my specialized equipment and skill set to birth. My knowledge and experience with birth helps me to position myself so that I can frame your birth in a beautifully artistic way, while working seamlessly alongside the rest of your birth team. I have developed the technical skills to focus and expose my camera correctly and I am comfortable working with flash and in low light situations, and have learned how to change my settings quickly as the situation changes. There is no second chance to capture birth memories!

father smiles during skin to skin after his baby is born

Besides documenting births, I am also very passionate about motherhood stories. Read about my in-home motherhood portrait sessions HERE.

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